Introduction: Vegetable oils contain natural antioxidants and other properties reported to impart anti-diabetic properties when consumed, in animal study. In humans however, these oils are subjected to high temperatures during cooking before consumption. High temperature tends to affect the characteristic quality and potential to impart on health benefits such as antidiabetic properties. The objective of this work was to determine the characteristics quality of vegetable oils after thermal treatment that equates to temperatures oils are subjected to during food processing/cooking.
Methodology: Three portions of 200g of each fresh unrefined red palm oil, coconut oil and groundnut oils in three conical flasks T1, T2 and T3 were heated to room temperature 28oC (T1) to 100o C in boiling water (T2) and to 200o C in electric cooker oven (T3) for 10 minutes. Acid, iodine, peroxide, saponification, unsaponification values of the oils were then determined after cooling to room temperature.
Results; Coconut oil heated to 200˚C had the least Acid value of 2.89±0.135 whiles Palm oil heated to 100 ˚C had the highest value of 19.57±0.165. There were no peroxides formed in Coconut and Palm oils at 28 ˚C as well as Palm oil at 100 ˚C. However, peroxides were highest in Coconut oil at 200˚C with value of 15.28±2.315. Saponification value of groundnut oil at 28 ˚C was the least at 89.52 ± 2.18 and 296.57±1.045 the highest in coconut oil at 200 ˚C. Heating however increased the unsaponifiable matter in all the vegetable oils used.
Conclusion: The quality of the oils in terms of acid value, iodine vale, peroxide value and saponification value were retained after one heat treatment. This implies the quality of the oils are maintained during food processing.